Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Ethics?!!! BushCo? What ethics?

From American Progress:


In Sept. 2006, Shannen W. Coffin, counsel to Vice President Dick Cheney, wrote a letter to the chief counsel of the United States Secret Service (USSS) ordering that the "USSS shall not retain any copy" of documents and information pertaining to visitors to the Vice President's residence.

The letter was disclosed last Friday as part of "a lawsuit by Citizens for Responsibility and Ethics in Washington (CREW), seeking the identities of conservative religious leaders who visited Cheney at his official residence." The release was "accompanied by an 18-page Secret Service document revealing [that] the agency's long-standing practice has been to destroy printed daily access lists of visitors to the residence."

In the letter, Coffin claims logs for Cheney's residence are subject to the Presidential Records Act (PRA), a designation that prevents the public from learning who visited the Vice President. The agreement between the Office of the Vice President and the Secret Service that visitor logs fall under the PRA, and are thus not subject to Freedom of Information Act requests, is similar to an "agreement quietly signed between the White House and the Secret Service a year ago when questions were raised about visits to the executive compound by convicted influence peddler Jack Abramoff."

The White House has also previously instructed the Secret Service to destroy visitor logs. "The latest filings make clear that the administration has been destroying documents and entering into secret agreements in violation of the law," said Anne Weisman, CREW's chief counsel.


No comments: